You may recall last season that Anaheim Ducks forward Patrick Eaves missed almost the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign after being diagnosed with a rare and potentially fatal condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome.
“My body started to neurologically shut down,” said the 34-year-old, who has 132 goals and 110 assists in 626 games with six NHL teams. “My three kids and wife had an upper respiratory virus. We had just moved out to California. I was taking care of the four of them, and then a couple days before camp I started to get it in my chest.”
“Probably about a week later I started to feel the power in my legs go out.”
It turned out that Eaves was originally misdiagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, but was instead suffering from a post viral syndrome. Relieved he didn’t have Guillain-Barre, a shoulder injury suffered during an initial rehabilitation attempt caused further problems before Eaves travelled to Florida for further treatment.
"I went down to Florida to be a father again," said Eaves, whose mountain-man beard is rivalled in NHL circles by only Joe Thornton and Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks. "Playing wasn’t really on my radar. I was just trying to go get my life back.
"It was really hard on the family. I’m surrounded by great people. Everybody grabbed the rope."
Nearly a calendar year later and Eaves is back on the ice and ready to join his team once again. “It was a long year trying to figure things out,” said Eaves, the 29th overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Ottawa Senators. “I feel great right now.”
That’s great news not only for Eaves, but for the Ducks as well. Eaves has looked tremendous on a line with Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf during his brief time in Anaheim, scoring 12 goals and 15 points in just 22 career regular season games with the franchise. He’s coming off a career high 32 goal and 51 point campaign split between the Ducks and the Dallas Stars and looks poised to put up big numbers again with a strong Ducks squad.
Note: Parts of this story were taken from The Canadian Press.